5 Ways the Elderly Can Manage Crohn's Disease Symptoms

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5 Ways Seniors Can Manage the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

By Carolina Orosa, 9:00 am on

Crohn’s disease can cause seniors to experience a wide array of symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, and weight loss. However, if your elderly loved one takes special precautions, he or she can manage these symptoms more effectively. Vancouver senior care experts offer a few suggestions for you and your loved one to keep in mind.

1. Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals

Crohn’s disease may cause your loved one to have a decreased appetite, and large meals can slow digestion and make symptoms worse. Encourage your loved one to eat five fist-sized meals throughout the day instead of the standard breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Many people with Crohn’s also find limiting dairy, fatty foods, and high-fiber foods can alleviate their symptoms. 

2. Consider Adding Supplements

Low appetite, diarrhea, and other symptoms of Crohn’s can affect your loved one’s intake and absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. Talk to your loved one’s doctor about routine monitoring to ensure he or she is getting enough calcium, vitamin B12, and folate. If it turns out your loved one is deficient in these vitamins, the doctor can recommend appropriate supplements.

3. Keep a Food Journal

Your loved one’s Crohn’s symptoms and response to different foods can evolve over time. You or a professional Vancouver, BC, home caregiver should keep a daily food journal detailing your loved one’s food intake and symptoms. This can help you identify changes in food sensitivities so you can adapt your loved one’s diet accordingly.

4. Limit Stress

When under stress, the body releases various hormones and chemicals that can exacerbate Crohn’s symptoms. An increase in symptoms causes even more stress in an ongoing cycle. Mild exercise, meditation, and even joining a Crohn’s support group can help your loved one alleviate stress and manage the difficulties of living with the disease. 

5. Be Persistent

It may take time and a lot of trial and error to identify trigger foods and find the diet that works best for your loved one. Medications may also have to be adjusted from time to time in response to changes in metabolism. If you notice a change in your loved one’s Crohn’s symptoms, let the doctor know so he or she can recommend changes to your loved one’s diet or medications.

Symptoms of Crohn’s disease and other serious conditions can be better managed with the help of a professional in-home caregiver. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can provide timely medication reminders, prepare nutritious meals and snacks, and help with many other important daily tasks. In addition to respite and 24-hour care, we also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s home care Vancouver seniors can rely on. For more information and to request a free consultation with one of our Case Managers, please call 778-279-3634 today.